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Apple TV to come in 3 sizes, top out at 55 inches, report says

The smallest size Apple will offer is a 32-inch model, according to a new report.

Apple will offer television sizes up to 55 inches, a new report says.
Apple will offer television sizes up to 55 inches, a new report says.

The rumor mill is heating up around Apple's television plans, and now a report claims to have information on the device's screen sizes.

Citing anonymous sources in Japan at a "major" company working on the set's production, Australian technology site Smarthouse reported Sunday that Apple television buyers will be able to choose from three screen sizes, ranging from 32 inches to 55 inches. In addition, the sources say that the television will ship with the same Apple A6 processor expected to come in the iPad 3.

On the software side, Smarthouse's sources say that Apple has built entirely new software that will allow people to "call up programs" with the company's Siri virtual personal assistant.

Talk of Apple producing a television has been making the rounds for years. Back in 2009, for instance, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said that he believed the tech giant would sell its first television by the end of 2011. Since that hasn't happened, Munster has revised his schedule a bit, saying now that the television will likely launch by the end of next year.

But Munster has speculated on more than just the set's launch. Last week at a Business Insider conference, Munster said that Apple firmly believes consumers want an all-in-one television that isn't tied down to external boxes. He also predicted that Apple would sell its line of televisions for twice the price of a comparable alternative.

Like Smarthouse's sources, Munster believes the televisions will come with Siri support and a few different screen sizes.

Apple hasn't said that it will, in fact, launch a television. However, those who have been hoping for it became a bit more confident about the possibility this fall when Steve Jobs' official biography revealed that the Apple co-founder was not only thinking about a television, but had found a way to make it match his vision.

"I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use," Jobs told his biographer. "It would be seamlessly synched with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it."

In an interview with CNET last month, however, biographer Walter Isaacson said that an Apple television wouldn't launch anytime soon.

"He told me it was very theoretical," Isaacson said of Jobs. "These were theoretical things they were thinking about in the future."

Bloomberg reported in October, citing sources, that Apple has tapped iTunes creator Jeff Robbin to head up the television's development. Those sources said Apple currently has a TV prototype, but there is still a possibility that it won't go beyond that stage.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment on the Smarthouse report.